Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Threat of Online Security

How Safe
is Our Data??

Most of us know full well the degree to which our lives can be affected as a result of others getting their hands on our data. Financial fraud and identity theft have become commonplace these days, with fraudsters using increasingly sophisticated methods to try and get a hold of our details. In fact, fraudsters can use all sorts of documents or items that belong to us in order to commit a crime or steal an identity and information.

However, worryingly many of us fail to take precautions to minimize the chances of our data falling into the wrong hands. Although numerous measures have been taken to prevent data theft and misuse, our data online is still insecure, and we are still susceptible to viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses.

Our data still faces threats from:

Virus is a potentially damaging computer program that affects, or infects, a computer negatively by altering the way computer works without the user’s knowledge or permission. Once the virus infects the computer, it can spread throughout and may damage files and system software.

Worm is a program that copies itself repeatedly, for example in memory or on network, using up resources and possibly shutting down the computer or network. It exploits vulnerabilities in operating systems (OSs), network services, and applications to propagate and cause damage

Trojan horses(named after a Greek myth) is a program that hides within or appear to be legitimate, but in fact contain malware such as keyloggers

and spyware

The countermeasures developed for detecting viruses can often detect other forms of malware as well.A nother effective, but easily overlooked, countermeasure is security awareness training. It is common knowledge now that you should not open an email attachment sent from someone you do not know. Less well known are tips such as avoiding sites that may harbor malware, such as peer-to-peer file sharing sites, and not downloading browser plug-ins that may be Trojan horses. Keeping users aware of the changing tricks and techniques used by malware developers and cyber-attackers is an effective complement to the technical countermeasures that are essential to preserving information assets.

Just for laughs.......


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